All piano / keyboard lessons are not created equal.
If you search for piano lessons online, you will find all sorts of offerings…
- traditional piano lessons
- video piano lessons
- piano lesson software products, and
- Musiah — which offers piano lessons with the world’s first virtual piano teacher.
The purpose of this page is to help you compare these different offerings and to understand what is a real lesson and what is just a fraction of a lesson that is not really worth the time and attention of a serious piano student.
What makes it hard to compare these offerings side by side is that there is no standard frame of reference.
And many online offerings take advantage of unsuspecting consumers by intentionally blurring the lines even more than they already are — so you will potentially be duped into taking up sub-standard offerings that are not really piano lessons at all.
1. Traditional Piano Lessons
Traditionally, a piano lesson usually means 30 minutes of highly tailored personal tuition usually once a week with an actual piano teacher.
In such a lesson, you will quite often cover many different concepts and learning approaches designed to help you on your road to becoming a proficient piano player.
In your first couple of lessons, you may learn anywhere from one to a few simple tunes.
Then, as you become a little more advanced and the pieces become harder, you might learn on average one song per lesson.
But as you become really advanced, and the pieces become longer and more technically challenging, it is not unusual for some pieces to take several weeks or even months to master.
So, for the purposes of this article, let’s say that a half hour of personalized piano tuition, much like you would receive from a traditional piano teacher is our benchmark of what constitutes a piano lesson.
Using this benchmark, let’s now briefly examine each of the other categories of piano lesson offerings and weigh up what they actually offer by comparison.
2. Video Piano Lessons
On a web site that offers a number of free video piano lessons, you might find (as an example) a video (which they call a lesson) that lasts for 5 minutes or so. In that 5 minutes they typically explain one concept, e.g. finger numbers (thumb is No. 1, index finger is No. 2, etc.).
In a traditional beginner piano lesson this would be considered a very small part of the lesson as it would usually last no more than about a minute, and then the teacher would move on to the rest of the lesson.
On its own, it certainly one not constitute a ‘piano lesson’.
As it happens, today, I came across one such free video lesson on this very topic, and I noticed that it lasted for nearly 6 minutes… My curiosity was peaked straight away.
If I, as a piano teacher, normally spend no more than about a minute on this topic, what could the teacher in the video possibly rabbit on about for 6 minutes?
So I clicked ‘Play’ and watched as the teacher explained the concept in under a minute (which is fine). Then he proceeded to go over the same material several more times ad infinitum.
I’m going to sound really old when I say this, but in my day, we called this ‘padding’.
The basic concept is the provider of this ‘lesson’ is giving away a very small piece of information as one of a number of free video piano ‘lessons’ in the hope that you’ll get to like him and sign up for the paid lesson he offers.
Now I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with this practice per se.
But, for the purposes of our comparison, does it constitute a piano lesson? Of course not.
Using our benchmark, it is clearly a very small fraction of a real piano lesson.
3. Piano Lesson Software Products
Many piano lesson software products also do something similar to video lessons.
They put together a package that perhaps has the equivalent of say 10-20 traditional piano lessons, if that, but then they break this down into very small segments, calling each one a ‘lesson’ so that they can say to the consumer… “Oh look, our product has 500 lessons — what great value it is!”
Some piano lesson software products even claim to have 1,000 or 2,000 ‘lessons’, but of course, now we are starting to understand that all lessons are not created equal, it gives us pause to reconsider.
The other aspect of piano lesson software products that is not often understood is that the tuition they offer is, by its nature, very generic.
Typically, there is little, if any, customized tuition in a lesson. Instead the majority of products rather simplistically highlight incorrect notes as you play a piece so they can give you a score at the end.
Once again, I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with this. Products like this can be a useful practice tool for some students.
But for the purposes of our comparison, the generic tuition of such offerings falls well short of the personalized tuition you would receive in a traditional piano lesson.
Often such products will promote their ‘extensive library’ (e.g. thousands) of songs you can learn with their piano software.
But this seems far less impressive when you consider that, in most cases, they are simply adding additional MIDI files to their library of pieces and applying the same generic assessment process to each piece.
They are not planning detailed customized lessons for each piece.
So, this type offering is usually not so much a real piano lesson as a practice tool, which in most cases will still require the involvement of a teacher.
4. Real Piano Lessons With Musiah — The World’s First Virtual Piano Teacher
With Musiah, thanks to the latest A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) technology, not only is the tuition every bit as personal and customized as a traditional piano teacher, the lessons are much more affordable and effective.
In fact recent research shows you will learn up to 16 times faster with Musiah's piano lessons than if you learn the same syllabus through traditional piano lessons (view video for more).
Musiah is the only form of online piano lessons where the teacher (known as Musiah) responds to your playing just like a live teacher.
Musiah is aware of all the mistakes you make including such things as whether you…
- played additional notes that are not in the sheet music
- omitted some notes
- played some notes incorrectly
- made errors in the timing
- made errors in the duration for which notes are to be held
- and every other conceivable variant including whether any or all
of these issue occurred in the Left Hand, Right Hand or Both Hands
… and just like a live teacher, he has the ability to prioritize which issues to address and in what order, so the feedback you receive is very natural and life-like.
And he has the ability to deal with such subtleties as phrasing, accents and more.
Musiah gently speaks to you and breaks down complex problems into easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions to help you understand and master any problem areas.
In every Musiah lesson, every possible problem students may encounter has been planned for and programmed in minute detail so you will receive the right help at each moment of your lesson.
So… using our benchmark of a weekly traditional 30 minute piano lesson, how many lessons or how much tuition does Musiah have?
The Musiah piano syllabus contains 131 pieces or songs, each one of which, we call a lesson.
But how does the extent of this tuition really compare with other categories of piano lesson offerings?
For the purposes of this comparison, it’s worth bearing in mind that many of the more advanced pieces would take several traditional piano lessons to master.
For example, even though Lesson #130 might take 10 traditional piano lessons to master, we still simply refer to this as one Musiah lesson… Lesson #130.
Over the years what we have found is, that it usually takes an average student about 6 years to complete the Musiah syllabus when learning through traditional piano lessons.
So perhaps the clearest way to think of the extent of Musiah’s online piano lessons is that the tuition they contain is equivalent to
- tens of thousands of video piano lessons
- thousands of software piano lessons
- 6 years’ worth of traditional piano teaching
It truly is a vast course, and Musiah’s highly tailored personal piano tuition is a revolutionary invention created on an epic scale.
Out of piano lesson categories 2, 3 and 4, only Musiah offers real piano lessons like a traditional, live piano teacher.
But of course, Musiah has the advantages of being more affordable, more convenient, more effective and more fun!
I hope the above information is helpful in terms of explaining the main differences between each of the categories of piano lesson offerings, and that it will help you to choose the kind of piano lessons that will best suit your needs.
If you (dear reader) would like to try real piano lessons with Musiah in the comfort of your own home when it suits you — and experience the most technologically advanced computer / internet based piano lessons in the world today — I have a very exciting special introductory offer for you...
Special Introductory Piano Lessons Offer
Right now, for a strictly limited time, we’re offering a Musiah Piano Lessons 14 Day Free Trial, which I warmly invite and encourage you to take.
You have absolutely nothing to lose, and potentially the life-long gift of music to gain.
And of course, if you have any questions or need assistance at any stage, please feel free to contact me directly.
Don't wait to take this all-important first step on your piano lessons journey. Life is too short.
Thanks for reading.
Til next time,
Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A, A.Mus.A.
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor
Online Piano lessons – Do They Work?
Piano Lessons For Adults
Piano Lessons For Kids
Piano Lessons For Beginners
Advanced Piano Lessons
Free Piano Lessons (on piano technique)
The Best Piano Method
The Best Piano Learning App
Learning To Play Piano As An Adult – Why it's easier than you think!